Law fairs can often be a daunting prospect but they may also be the first time you will come face to face with trainees and people working for law firms.
They provide a great opportunity to get yourself on a firm's radar and it can be a good opportunity to help decide which firms are right for you and more importantly perhaps, those which are not.
These are some tips to make yourself stand out and to make the most of any law fair:
You would be surprised how many people turn up to law fairs unprepared, so even a little preparation will stand you in good stead and put you out in front. A small but important point is make sure you are dressed appropriately, it is important to give off the right message and show firms that you are serious about a career in law. Other things to consider are:
Research the firms attending - you might not get chance to speak to every law firm who attends the fair so narrow down your options to those firms you are most interested in. Research the firms in terms of the practice areas they cover, their requirements to apply and their recent press releases.
Prepare Questions - from your research you may have questions about the firm in general but you may also have the opportunity to speak to current trainees. Don't be afraid to ask them questions about their career and how they are finding working at the firm, that way you will get an honest insight into the role you will one day be in.
For those firms like Shoosmiths who are active on Twitter or Facebook - tweet them to say you will be going to the law fair - this immediately makes you known to them and you never know, you might get a tweet back.
You only get out of a law fair what you put into it, so when you approach a law firm be confident, introduce yourself and a good handshake goes a long way. Law fairs are notoriously busy so ensuring you are well prepared and have questions to ask means you will be able to engage with those representing the firm without getting pushed out of the way. Don't be afraid to ask for contact details, most firms have social media accounts or mailing lists so be sure you sign up to those firms you are interested in.
After the law fair, review your findings, look at whether the firms you thought you would like have met expectations or whether there were other firms you preferred. If you have started following a firm on social media you could tweet/comment on their post thanking them for their help and information at the law fair. If you were lucky enough to get contact details or email addresses send an email thanking the person or firm. You will be surprised how the little things will get you noticed with firms, particularly with the social media world growing as it is.
Use some or all of the tips above and you will come away from a law fair with a huge amount of useful information and hopefully have a clearer idea of the sort of firm you would like to be part of. Enjoy the law fair and most importantly; be yourself, firms want to get to know the real you.